If you're not changing your crankset then try and get the same spindle length. If you go longer or shorter you will be changing your chainline, which you might be able to do without problem,but you might also screw up your shifting. You might want to check out www.sheldonbrown.com/chainline/ and www.sheldonbrown.com/bbsize.html for info on chainline and a database of crank/bb size.
Lots of people can feel differences between 172.5 and 175, so you have a good chance of feeling a 170/175 difference; that can be good or bad depending on if you and your knees like it. Hard to tell without trying. Generally guys your size generally use a 175 for mountain biking; if you were going to experiment you might try longer rather than shorter. Switching cranksets can get expensive, though. I'm 5'10" and I use 175s on my mountain bike, 172.5s on my road bike.
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